Survivors of childhood cancer experience many social adaptation problems. We aimed to identify social, educational, and occupational issues of this growing population.
Survivors treated for childhood malignant solid tumors who were older than 18 years and in remission for at least 3 years were surveyed. The educational achievement, employment, type of habitation, marital status, parenthood, social insurance, and smoking status of the patients were inquired and recorded.
Two hundred one patients (126 male patients/75 female patients) were included in the study between 2007 and 2009. The median ages at the time of diagnosis and at the time of study were 10 years (range, 0 to 19 y) and 23 years (range, 18 to 39 y), respectively. The median follow-up duration was 13.5 years (range, 3 to 31 y). Nearly half of the participants were lymphoma survivors. One hundred eleven (55.5%) survivors were high school graduates and 47 (23%) were university graduates. Unemployment rate was 36.8%. Public social insurance rate was 90.5%. Fifty-three (26.4%) survivors had independent habitation. Thirty percent of survivors were married and 7.5% had at least 1 child. Marriage rates were significantly higher in survivors who were older than 23 years, had a follow-up duration of >13 years, had a job, and lived independently (for each parameter P=0.001). University degree was significantly lower in survivors who were treated for central nervous system tumors.
Our results have drawn a more marked picture with lower educational achievement and marital rates when compared with the results of large survivorship studies conducted in developed countries. However, they can be interpreted as intriguing when limited resources are taken into account.
Department of Pediatric Oncology, Institute of Oncology, Hacettepe University, Sihhiye, Ankara, Turkey
B.Y-K. and B.Y. contributed equally to the conception of the study, data collection and analysis, and writing of the manuscript.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Reprints: Begül Yağci-Küpeli, MD, MSc, Department of Pediatric Oncology, Institute of Oncology, Hacettepe University, Sihhiye, Ankara 06100, Turkey (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received September 28, 2011
Accepted November 15, 2012